Have you ever heard of SoHo? The 1st Arrondissement? What about Queen West? Unless you live in Canada, likely not. But in an article mapping out the world’s 15 coolest street style neighborhoods Vogue declared downtown Toronto’s Queen Street West the second coolest on the planet, only beat out by Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa District. The world does not tend to think of Canada as a fashion mecca, but contrary to popular belief, Canada is not, in fact, too cold for fashion.
Like most spontaneity-based movements, the candid nature of street style has begun to inspire art directors to replicate that beautiful natural look and feel of photographs that capture that perfect sartorial moment. That “moment” suggested by sidewalk snaps these days is, more often then not, faked. Photographer and Art Director Alkan Emin gave his own spin, adding a dose of local charm by featuring home-grown models in town for Toronto Fashion Week photographed on Queen Street West. Below model on the left wears a Hat by Juun. J, Coat Balenciaga, Sweater H&M, Pants Alexander Wang, Clutch Hudson’s Bay, Shoes Jefrey Campbell Right: Cardigan Red Valentino, Top Junk Food, Skirt H and M, Shoes Burberry
Let’s set aside New York and Paris for the moment, and make room for accessible and innovative bastions of style like this Toronto haunt. It is a hub for people watching, poutine eating, shoe shopping, and gallery watching fun. A district of tastemakers, Queen Street West is chocked full of down-to-earth chic from boutique hotels to independent galleries and local designers. With decreasing focus on the global scene, fashion has turned an eye to the intimate and relatable spontaneity of street style. Graduating from informal platforms, street style has blossomed into an entity of its own.
On the Left: Coat DVF, Top Vintage, Pants TIBI, Handbag Marc by Marc Jacobs, Shoes Burberry. Model on Right: Blazer Topshop, Top Dolce and Gabbana, Bowtie Prada, Pants Kolor, Handbag Chanel, Shoes Hudson’s Bay